Ancient Wisdom: The Book of Ahikar Part 18 of 24
What Is The Book of Ahikar?
This is an original retelling (paraphrase) of the Wisdom of Ahikar, originally posted on Steemit.com about four years ago. This is updated and reposted content for a new audience and for a new platform (HIVE).
The Wisdom of Ahikar is one of the most ancient sources of human thought and wisdom. There are elements of this story within the scriptures, both the Torah and the Gospels and Epistles.
The date of this story has been a subject of lively discussion. Scholars finally put it down about the First Century when they were proved in error by the original story turning up in an Aramaic papyrus of 500 B. C. among the ruins of Elephantine.
The book of Ahikar is not in the Biblical canon, but has some credentials that lend it some biblical authority. The story of Ahikar fits within the Biblical story of the Assyrian conquest of Israel. One story, preserved in the Catholic canon, is the Book of Tobit. This man Tobit was of the tribe of Naphtali, a Hebrew
This book tells the story of Tobit, son of Tobiel, son of Hananiel, son of Aduel, son of Gabael, son of Raphael, son of Raguel, of the family of Asiel and the tribe of Naphtali. Tobit 1:1
The book of Tobit mentions Ahikar and his son Nadan by name and even includes elements of this story. Clearly the author of Tobit was familiar with the story of Ahikar, since the text of Tobit lists Ahikar as being the nephew of Tobit.
Ahikar the son of my brother Anael, was appointed chancellor of the exchequer for the kingdom and given the main ordering of affairs. Ahikar then interceded for me and I was allowed to return to Nineveh, since Ahikar had been chief cupbearer, keeper of the signet, administrator and treasurer under Sennacherib king of Assyria, and Esarhaddon had kept him in office. He was a relation of mine; he was my nephew. Tobit 1:21-22
Previously in the Story of Ahikar
Ahikar is back in the service of Sennacherib. He's taking a break to get some color to his skin and get tidied up. And probably think of a way of answering Pharaoh's riddles. Let's see what he comes up with. How does one build a castle between Heaven and earth?
Here resumes the story of Ahikar.
Ahikar the Eagle Trainer
And Ahikar went to his dwelling and he commanded the huntsmen to capture two young eagles for him. They captured them and brought them to him and he commanded the weavers of ropes to weave two cables of cotton for him, each of them two thousand cubits long and he had the carpenters brought and order them to make two great boxes and they did this.
Then he took two little lads and spent every day sacrificing lambs and feeding the eagles and the boys and making the boys ride on the backs of the eagles and he bound them with a firm knot and tied the cable to the feet of the eagles. He let them soar upwards little by little every day beginning with 10 cubits, with the boys being on their backs. They grew accustomed and were educated to this and they eventually rose all the length of the rope until they reached the sky and he drew them back to himself.
And when Ahikar saw that his desire was fulfilled, he charged the boys that when they were borne aloft to the sky, they were to shout: "Bring us clay and stone that we may build a castle for king Pharaoh, for we are idle!"
And Ahikar was never done training them and exercising them until they had reached the highest possible skill. Then Ahikar left and went to the king and said to him:
"Oh my master, the work is finished according to your desire. Arise with me that I may show you the wonder."
So the king sprang up and sat with Ahikar and went to a wide place. He sent to bring the eagles and the boys and Ahikar tied them and let them off into the air all the length of the ropes. They began shouting as he had taught them: "Bring us clay and stone that we may build a castle for king Pharaoh, for we are idle!" Then he drew them to himself and put them in their places.
And the king and those who were with him marveled with great marvel. And the king kissed Ahikar between his eyes and said to him "Go in peace, my beloved Ahikar. Oh pride of my kingdom! Go to Egypt and answer the questions of Pharaoh and overcome him by the strength of the Most High God."
Then he bade him farewell and took his troops and his army and the young men and the eagles and went towards the dwellings of Egypt and when he had arrived, he turned towards the country of the king.
And when the people of Egypt knew that Sennacherib had sent a man of his private counsel to speak with Pharaoh and to answer his questions, they carried the news to king Pharaoh and he sent a party of his private counselors to bring him before Pharaoh.
This concludes this portion of the Story of Ahikar.
Put these eagle flying boys to work!
How clay and stone are going to be suspended in the air? No idea, but perhaps Pharaoh will buy it! It's certainly impressive watching boys flying on the backs of eagles 2000 cubits in the air (3000 feet).
Bless the Name of the Most High in fear and reverence, that He may receive glory among the nations.
Bless the Most High!
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